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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  December 5, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PST

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behind. eugene robinson, joy reid, dorian, thank you for joining us. chris matthews is up next tonight. tonight, we bring to you my interview with president barack obama. this is the historic passing of his personal hero, nelson mandela, an event that msnbc will be covering for the rest of the evening. i have covered two great events in my career. one was the fall of the berlin wall in 1989 and the other was the election in south africa five years later. i was there when the black majority voted by the millions, stretching from one horizon so the other. i saw firsthand the devotion to democracy and the great legacy of the man who died today. president obama paid tribute to nelson mandela today. through his fierce dignity, an unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of
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others he transformed south africa and moved all of us. embodied the that countries can change for the better. his commitment for the power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example for all humanity to aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or in our own personal lives. i promised you the president of the united states, and he's here. let's play "hardball." ♪ >> it's my honor to introduce the president of the united states. >> hey. [ applause ] ♪
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>> well, thank you, mr. president, and thank you, dr. neil kirk win is here, the president of the american university for having us here today. >> it's good to see you. >> so what brought you to "hardball"? >> american university. [ cheers and applause ]. >> "hardball" was just an excuse to hang out with these fine young people. i've had wonderful experiences here. the first time i spoke here actually was when i was running for the presidency and ted kennedy announced his endorsement here. obviously he was an incredible friend and spoken here about immigration and so i just always had a wonderful interaction here with the young people. >> let's play "hardball." you have graduate students here
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and faculty. there's a resistance among the young people to enrolling in the exchanges and getting involved in taking responsibility for their health care. what's your argument of why they should do that. >> first of all, i understand why people were resistant about going on a website that wasn't working right. fortunately, because of some very hard work, we've now got it to the point where for the vast majority of people it's working well. and my message to young people is, take a look for yourself. the truth is that most college-aged students, because of the law, can stay on their parents' plan and that may be the best deal for them and we've already insured three million people. and your first job where you don't have full health insurance benefits may mean that you stay on your parents' plan a little bit longer. but at some point, let's say when you turn 26, if you're between jobs or you've got a passion, you're wanting to start a business and you're not going
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to have health insurance, this gives you the opportunity to get high-quality health insurance and for most people under 30, it's probably going to cost you less than your cell phone bill or your cable bill. less than 100 bucks. and, you know, there was a time when i looked healthy like these folks and thought i was never going to get sick. but what you discover is that some tough stuff happens. you have a run of bad luck. you suddenly need hospitalization, you have an accident, you get an illness. and for young people to recognize that it is in their financial interests and their health interests to be able to get ongoing preventive care, to be able to get free contraception and, you know, benefits that -- like mammograms that allow them to maintain their health throughout their lives without fear of going bankrupt or making their family
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bankrupt if they get sick, that's something that's priceless and i think most young people are going to recognize that so my advice to everybody is, the website's now working. go to, take a look for yourself in your state what's va veilabavailable to yo. by the way, if you don't get health insurance and then you get in an accident, the rest of us end up paying it because the hospitals, they end up essentially schargeing folks with insurance about $1,000 in hidden subsidies for the people who don't have health insurance. that's part of what we're trying to eliminate. >> when you saw the story about the national security agency, basically patrolling all of the cell phones in the world, basically, a lot of young people point to the privacy requirements. they don't like to be part of anything collecting information. health care, is this going to be one of the detriments to people
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signing up, they want to keep their privacy? >> health care is entirely different. it's similar to seniors who sign up for medicare or people who file their taxes. you know, there are a whole bunch of things where you're providing information to the government, it's protected, it's governed by a whole series of law. nsa is a broader issue and, you're right, young people are rightly sensitive to the needs to preserve their privacy and to maintain internet freedom and, by the way, so am i. that's part of not just our first amendment rights and expectations in this country but it's particularly something that young people care about because they spend so much time texting and, you know, instagraming and, you know -- >> whatever. >> something is coming up every single day. and so all of us spend more and more of our lives in cyberspace. now, the challenge is, first of all, we do have people who are
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trying to hurt us and they communicate through these same systems and if we're going to do a good job of preventing a terrorist attack in this country, a weapon of mass destruction getting on to the new york subway system, et cetera, we do want to keep eyes on some bad actors. the second thing is that the same cyberspace that gives us all this incredible information and allows us to reach out around the world also makes our bank accounts vulnerable. cybercrime is a big problem and a growing problem so we've got to be in there some way to help protect the american people even as we're also making sure that the government doesn't abuse it. now, i can't confirm or get into the details of every aspect of what the nsa does and the way this has been reported, the snowden disclosures have identified some areas of
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legitimate concern. some of it has also been highly sensationalized and, you know, has been painted in a way that is not accurate. i've said before and i will say again, the nsa actually does a very good job about not engaging in domestic surveillance, not reading people's e-mails, not listening to the content of their phone calls. outside of our borders, the nsa's more aggressive. it's not constrained by laws and part of what we're trying to do over the next month or so is having done an independent review and brought a whole bunch of folks, civil libertarians and lawyers and others to examine what's being done, i'll be proposing some self-restraint on the nsa and to initiate some reforms that can give people more confidence. but i want everybody to be clear, the people of the nsa generally are looking out for
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the safety of the american people. they are not interested in reading your e-mails. they are not interested in reading your text messages and that's not something that's done and we've got a big system of checks and balances, including the courts and congress who have the capacity to prevent that from happening. >> mr. president, let's look at the question of confidence. 50 years in john f. kennedy spoke here at the american university. let's listen to something that he said that i think we're now in this country politically. >> our problems are manmade. therefore, they can be solved by man and man can be as big as he wants. no problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable and we believe they can do it again.
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>> how do we get back to that confidence that we can solve our manmade problems and other problems? >> well, you know, i have that confidence. we've gone over a tough time in the last five years and most of the young people who are here today have come of age during as difficult a period at we've seen in our modern history. we went through the worst financial crisis since the great depression. we have gone through wars. part of the 9/11 generation who was very young at the time but remembers the trauma of that event. and yet, if you look at it, we've now ended the war in iraq. we are about to end the war in afghanistan, we've begun a recovery that is not yet complete coming out of the financial crisis but the job market is getting better, our economy is improving. we have doubled our production
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of clean energy, doubled our production of additional energy sources. we are on the brink of being as close to energy independent as any country our size could be in a very long time. we still have the best universities, the best researchers and scientists, the best workers on earth and the most innovative countries on earth and we're still the envy of the world and the one indispensable nation. so i continue to have great confidence in our capacity to solve our problems. there is a specific challenge that we've got, and that is a congress and this city, washington, that is gridlocked and spent too much time worrying about the next election and not enough time worrying about the next generation. and, you know, the solution to that is ultimately what was envisioned by our fathers and what jack kennedy understood as well and that's the american people. you know, we go through these
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periods where our politics gets all mixed up and sometimes we're nostalgic about the past. >> i am. >> i know you are. but the truth of the matter is that when you look at our history, there have been a lot of times when congress gets stuck but we get through it and ultimately the american people have pretty good instincts and if over and over again they see that we're not addressing the core problems that we have, eventually they will put in place folks who are serious about getting the work done. >> let's talk about the problem with the legislative branch. the other day speaker boehner said we can't get anything done because we have a divided country, a divided congress. that's the nature of america. there are aisles that have always been there. we stuck with this as long as we
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have two parties running our government. they can't compromise. they used to compromise. my argument is, in the old days they would compromise and then blame the other party for the parts of the compromise they didn't like. today they don't compromise and blame the other party. he can blame you for the parts that he doesn't like. >> well, a couple of things. first of all, i think, chris, it's fair to say i have always been prepared to not only negotiate but to go ahead and push forward on principled compromises. in fact, sometimes on your stations on msnbc i've been blasted for too willing to compromise. so the problem is not generally speaking on the democratic side and obviously i'm partisan here but objectively i think you can look at it and you can say that the big challenge we've got is you've got a faction of the
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republican party that sees compromise as a dirty word, that has moved so far to the right that it would be difficult for ronald reagan to win the nomination for the republican party at this point and as a consequence it is more challenging. but a couple of things i want to point out. >> you've got 3 1/2 more years to deal with this situation. >> a couple things i point out. first of all, in our history, usually when we've made big progress on issues, it has been one party controlled the government for a period of time. i mean, the big strides we made in the new deal, the big strides we made with the great society, you know, those were times when you had a big majority and when ronald reagan made changes in the direction of a more republican agenda was when he had a majority. what you're right about, though, is that when we had divided government, most of the time
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there's about 70%, 80% overlap between the parties. we're not like some countries that where you actually have a socialist party on one hand and an ultra conservative party on the other hand. most of the time we're playing between the 40 yard line here. so my argument to boehner and mcconnell and everybody else out there is, let's go ahead and have big arguments on the things we disagree about but why don't we go ahead and work on the things that we do agree about and a classic example is immigration reform. we know that the majority of the american people think the system's broken. we now have a vote out of the senate, both democrats and republicans voting for a commonsense bill that would strengthen our borders, that would fix the legal immigration system and make it easier for talent to come here and work hard and become part of america. and that would hold companies accountable when they are hiring
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undocumented workers and when they are taking advantage of them and deal with the 11 million people who are in the shadows right now. now, we've got a majority of the american people who think it's a good idea and the majority of the republicans, including the senate that think it's a good idea. the only thing stopping it at this point is what i mentioned earlier, a faction in the republican house that is. >> didn't he say that it won't do it in 14 today? >> you know, i think that there's so much focus on the politics of the base and the republicans being worried about getting challenged during the primary season that that inhibits a lot of cooperation that is there and i actually think there are a bunch of republicans who want to get stuff done. they've got to be embarrassed because the truth of the matter is that they have now been in
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charge of the house of representatives, one branch or one chamber in one branch of government for a couple of years now. they just don't have a lot to show for it. >> let's talk about the executive branch, which you control. back in 1964, we looked it up, a pew study, 76% of the american people believed that most of the time almost always the federal government did the right thing. now it's down to less than 20%. the trust question. the commitments you made before the rollout with health care. what is it? what is it? it's a serial decline, mr. president. it keeps going down. we had watergate and the vietnam war. but what is going to stop that? you being honest, anybody who is president, skepticism sichl that is out there? >> look, the cynicism and skepticism is deep and i distinguish between, you know,
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just management of government and the basic blocking and tackling, getting stuff done to help the american people, and then the ability to move big policy changes that are going to help more americans. when it comes to the management of government, part of the reason people are so skeptical is that when we do things right, they don't get a lot of attention. if we do something that is perceived at least initially as a screwup, it will be on the nightly news for a week. so let's take the example of the federal emergency management agency, fema. we've got a guy who's been in charge, craig fugate, who has managed as many crisis flawlessly. >> he is doing a good job. >> unlike his predecessor.
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>> he is doing a heck of a job. and that's not just my opinion, that's the opinion of every governor and mayor who works with him, including republicans. nobody knows who this guy is. if in fact we go in after sand dee or after the tornadoes in oklahoma or missouri and we're helping a lot of people effectively and quickly and they are getting what they need, nobody hears about that. that's not something that is reported about. if, on the other hand, you've got an office in cincinnati in the irs office that i think for bureaucratic reasons is trying to streamline what is a difficult law to interpret about whether a nonprofit is actually a political organization, is a tax exempt agency and suddenly everybody is outraged. >> it's difficult to define it. >> by the way, i'll point out that there are some so-called
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progressives perceived to be liberal commentators who during that week just were outraged at the possibility that these folks, you know, had been at the direction of the democratic party and some way skim nated against tea party folks and, you know, that is what gets news. that's what gets attention. now, here's what i will say. there are a couple million people working for the federal government and i remember bob gates, my former secretary of defense, wonderful public servant, had served under seven presidents. when i first came in i asked him, so bob, you've got any advice for me? he said, mr. president, just understand you get a lot of people working for you. somebody somewhere at this very moment is screwing something up. and those true. so i -- so i have to
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consistently push on every cabinet secretary, on every single agency, how can we do things better and we can do things better. part of what we can do is reorganize the government which was designed in 1935 or 1945. we can consolidate agencies. buying information technologies. you know, how we make ourselves more customer friendly. those are all things that we can improve. but the upshot is the government still does a lot of good and the last point i'll make on this is, you know, we've had a politic, frankly, the entire republican party since reagan has been government's the problem. and if you day after day, week after week, election after election are running on that platform and that permeates our
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culture and it's picked up by ordinary citizens who grow skeptical, then it's not surprising that over time trust in government declines. but as i said in the speech yesterday, the biggest issue that i see out in the hour riris that every one of these young people can get a good job, pursue a career, support a family, not be loaded up by $100,000 worth of debt, actually buy a home, how do we do those things that reduce inequality in our society and broaden opportunity? and government can't solve all of that and we live in an economy that is global and technological and changing faster than ever before in history but government can't stand on the sidelines when we're doing that and without some faith in our capacity for
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collection t collective action, government is us. govern's ngovernment's not somebody else. members of congress have the capacity to change it, member as well as the president. >> let's talk about these young people who came here to study government and how it can be run. there's theories about how to become president of the united states. kennedy had direct contact with his cabinet writers and then strong chief of staff, the military command system of general eisenhower as president and of course ronald reagan did it with a superb chief of staff, a strong one, jim baker. zeke emanuel said there should have been a ceo assigned to you with unique responsibility to oversee health care. there wasn't. when secretary sebelius appeared and it was asked who was in
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charge? and it didn't seem like there was a strong top-down authority system from you. do you have that -- let's look forward here. do you have a relationship with your cabinet that you have a system of cracking the whip that they follow through, they execute as you envision they should, or do you work through a coo, like mr. mcdonough? what is your system for management? >> well, first of all i think it's important to distinguish between this particular project, this health care project where it is obvious that we needed additional controls in place because it didn't deliver on time the way that we wanted and how we've managed incredibly complex problems for the last five years. everything from wars to pandemics to, you know, natural disasters to expanding student
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loans for young people generally speaking, my theory has been, number one, that, yes, i've got a strong chief of staff but i'm holding every cabinet member accountable and i want to have strong interactions with them directly. number two is, i have an open door policy where i want people to be bringing me bad news on time so we can fix things and that, you know, the challenge that we have going forward is not so much my personal management style or particular issues around white house organization, it actually has to do with what i referred to earlier which is, we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly. we've got, for example, 16 different agencies that have some responsibility to help businesses, large and small, in all kinds of way, whether it's financing them, helping them to
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export. and so if you're a small business person getting started, you may think you need to go to the small business administration on one thing, you've got to go to commerce on another. so we've proposed, let's consolidate a bunch of that stuff. the challenge we've got is that requires a law to pass and, frankly, there are a lot of members of congress who are chairman of a particular committee and they don't want necessarily consolidations where they would lose jurisdictions over certain aspects of certain policies. but this is going to be a major area of focus and has been over the last five years but going forward over the next three years, how do we have a 21st century federal government and this is part of the reason why people are skeptical. there are just some things people have an interacts with the federal government that we could be doing a better job. everyone has the experience of getting their driver's license.
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right? it takes a long time. why do you have to do a written driving test if you already have your license? there's a whole bunch of things that we could be using with the internet and new communication systems and the more we can just reorganize the guts of how these agencies work, the easier it's going to be because the white house is just a tiny part of what is a huge, widespread organization with increasingly complex tasks in a complex world. >> let me ask you about something else. this is a twitter question. he said, "what can we do to stop the gops from rigging the states, rigging the votes state by state to disenfranchise voters and destroy our democracy? 36 states right now led by republican legislators have been trying to make it difficult for them to vote. everybody knows the game. republicans often admit the game to deny people the vote. how can -- well, what's your
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reaction? >> you saw the lines that we had not only in '08 but in '12. some of these folks may have stood in line. i said on election night that's not acceptable in a democracy that has been around as long as ours and the world looks to. so we actually immediately assigned my chief election lawyer and mitt romney's chief election lawyer to sit down with a group of experts and come up with a whole series of voter reforms. they are supposed to report back to me by the end of this year so that early next we're going to to put forward what we know will be a bipartisan effort or a bipartisan proposal to encourage people to vote. you can't say you take pride in american democracy, american constitutionalism, american exceptionalism, and then you're doing everything you can to make it harder for people to vote. so i think there's some commonsense things that we can
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do and i won't preview the proposals because i haven't gotten them yet. keep in mind, though, for all of the efforts that have been made, and some of them, by the way, may be illegal, may violate the voting rights act even after the supreme court's recent ruling and our justice department is going to be staying on them. if we have evidence that you have mechanisms that are specifically designed to discriminate against certain groups of voters, then the justice department will come down on them and file suit. the one point i want to make, though, is that even with all of the efforts that were made, let's say in the last election, folks still voted. and if it people feel engaged enough and have a sense of a stake in our democracy, you know, you'll be able to vote and, you know, our biggest problem right now is not the misguided efforts of some of the
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state legislators. our biggest problem is the one that you referred to earlier. and even in the best of years these days we still have 40% of the population that eligible to vote that chooses to opt out and they are not being turned away at the polls. they are turning themselves away from the polls and that's something that we've got to get at and young people in particular have a tendency to vote during presidential years and then just are not excited at all during midterms. these midterm elections are in many ways more important because that's going to determine who is in charge of congress and you may agree with me or disagree with me but don't think it all ends with me. it's also important who is speaker of the house and who's in charge of the senate and i hope young people increase looking he understand that. >> dysfunction is the number one concern. we'll be back with a bit more with president obama here at
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american university. you're watching "the hardball college tour" from american university. there is not a liberal america and a conservative america. there is the united states of america. there is not a black america and a white america, a latina america, an asian american, there is the united states of america. >> you're seeing the first black president there. who hasn't approved a new stapler purchase in three years. but then i saw the new windows tablet, with a real keyboard, usb port, and full office. it's a tablet that works for work. plus, it's got apps and games, for after hours, of course. compared to an ipad -- way more value. these tablets are such a steal; i couldn't find a reason not to buy them. ♪ honestly, i wanna see you be brave ♪
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i stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the united states of america. >> he's going to be remembered
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as one great day in american politics when barack obama, an american mother and kenyan father, a graduate of harvard law school, the president of harvard law review, a senator in just his second year of office runs for president of the united states and is already the number two candidate. [ applause ] >> we're back to the "hardball college tour" at american university. mr. president, your remarks on economic justice to me as a roman catholic was so the further muslim background to the belief that we have, a social responsibility, a moral responsibility to look at how people have made it in this country. >> yeah. there's no great religion that doesn't speak to this. at root, every great religion has some equivalent of the golden rule, some equivalent of the idea that i am my brother's keeper and my sister's keeper,
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some notion that even as we each take individual responsibility for acting in a responsible and righteous way, part of our obligation is to the larger world and to future generations. and i think pope francis is showing himself to be just an extraordinarily thoughtful and soulful messenger of peace and justice. i haven't had a chance to meet him yet but everything that i've read, everything that i've seen from him indicates the degree to which he is trying to remind us of those core obligations and as i said in my speech yesterday, we live in a marked economy that is the greatest generation of wealth in history. we're risk takers, we're entrepreneurs and we're rugged
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individualists and that's part of what makes us great. that's why we continue to be a magnet for strivers from all around the world. they think, you know what, i'm not going to be held back from conventions and traditions. i'm going to go out there and i'm going to make it. and we want to maintain that sense of character. but what i always remind people is that what also built this country was a sense of community and a sense of common endeavor. so whether it was building the transcontinental railroad or sending a man to the moon or helping to create the internet or curing diseases, you know, we always understood that there's some things we do better together. and that we should take pride as a nation in our ability to work in concert and if, in fact, we are helping to assure that kid over there, who is not my kid,
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has a chance at a good education or that guy over there who i'm not related to has a chance at a decent job and retirement, i'm going to be better off. i'm going to be lifving in a society that is more cohesive and, you know, going to create the kind of future for our kids that we all want. and that, more than anything, is at the core of the debate that i've been having with the republican party over the last several years. it's not just the details of the affordable care act or, you know, the minimum wage. because as i said yesterday in the speech, if you've got better ideas for achieving the same goal, put them out there. i'm not wedded to one particular way of doing things. but the central argument i have is, we do have an a obligation to each other and there are some
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things that we can do together and, in fact, the big challenges that we have, whether it's immigration, climate change, an economy that works for everybody, i am profession our education system, making college more affordable, competing in the world economy, dealing with questions of war and peace, those are not things that chris matthews or barack obama can solve by ourselves. by necessity, we're going to have to do those together and if we can at least agree on that and agree that our system of self-government allows us to come together to take on those big problems then, you know, we can figure out the specific policies and that's where we are compromise and negotiate. but what i will not compromise on is the idea, for example, we shouldn't have 41 million people in this country without health insurance. that i won't compromise on. that's where it gets to who are we as a country and my own sense of what my responsibilities are
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as president of the united states. well, we're almost done. i have to ask you a little question you may not like to answer. this could be tough. >> all right. >> it's an essay question. the qualities required of a president. vice president joe biden, former secretary hillary clinton, compare and contrast. >> not a chance am i going there. here's what i'll say. both hillary and joe would make outstanding presidents and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents. i think joe biden will go down in history as one of the best vice presidents ever and he has been with me at my side in every tough decision that i've made from going after bin laden to dealing with the health care issues to, you name it, he's been there. hillary will go down in history as one of the finest secretary of states that we've had and helps to transition us away from a deep hole that we were in when
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i first came into office around the world and rebuilt confidence in the united states and both of them would be outstanding and i would say that the most important qualities of any president -- and i'm not necessarily saying i have these qualities because i'm speaking historically, i think has to do with, more than anything, a sense of connection with the american people. that's what allows you to then leads to persistence. if you know who you're working on behalf of, if you remember as an fdr did or a person of good character and trying to figure
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out how they are going to support a family, if you remember a young child who has big dreams but doesn't yet know how they are going to get to challenge, if you feel those folks in your gut every single day, that will get you through the setbacks. >> right. >> and the difficulties and the fuss stragss and the criticisms that are inherent in the office and i think the interesting thing about -- now having been president for five years, it makes you humbler as opposed to cockier about what you as an individual can do. you recognize that you're just part of a sweep of history and your job is to push the boulder up the hill a little bit and the task never stops at perfecting our union. but what makes me more confident
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than ever is the interactions i have with young people like this all over the country who still believe in this country, still are optimistic fundamentally about their futures, problem solvers are practical. the american people are good and decent and we get divided partly because our politics and our media specifically tries to divide them and splinter them. but, you know, we got so much stuff going for us that as long as any president stays close to the people, i think they are going to do all right. >> i thought what was great what you did in your early part of your career, i love studying politicians, you lost that race in the south side to bobby rush and you got in your car and drove out into the burbs and you
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said, i'm going to do this thing. how many kids here want to go into politics? >> that's a pretty good number. >> are they right? >> it continues to be a way to serve that i think can be noble. it's hard. it can be frustrating. you've got to have a thick skin. and i know it's tempting to say, you know what, why would i want to get in the mud like that and get slapped around and subjected to all kinds of scrutiny and so for those people who say i'd rather serve in other ways, through nonprofits or through starting a great business and work with people who are completely on my side all the time instead of trying to undermine what i'm trying to get done, i understand that. and god bless you. that's part of what makes this
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court great. we're not completely government centered. we've got all kinds of folks who are doing great stuff all around the country. but i tell you, the satisfaction you get when you've passed a law or taken an executive action and somebody comes up to you and says, you know what, my kid's alive because you passed that health care bill, because he was uninsured, he got insurance and he got a checkup in time. or you hear somebody say you helped me save my house and i can't tell you what that means. it's pretty hard to get greater satisfaction than that and so for those young people who don't mind a little gray hair, it's something that i'd not only recommend but welcome. >> on behalf of all the people
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watching me tonight and loyal to you, thanks for coming. >> thank you, chris. [ applause ] >> thank you, everybody. good to see you. thank you. ♪ [ male announcer ] 1.21 gigawatts. today, that's easy. ge is revolutionizing power. supercharging turbines with advanced hardware and innovative software. using data predictively to help power entire cities. so the turbines of today... will power us all... into the future. ♪
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[ applause ] >> we're back at american university on the hardball college tour. joy reid, "the huffington post" media group and howard fineman and, of course, david corn. i've been chatting with you during the commercial break. i want to start with howard because you grabbed me.
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what do we see with the barack obama who is usually a bit d distant, what did we learn from him? >> you got a once in a lifetime opportunity here in a lifetime opportunity to talk to a president about what it's like to be president while he's president. i thought he made the moral case for obama care, for you folks to consider obama care as a measure of community in america. that's what motivates barack obama. he knows it's tough. >> the last 15 minutes of this interview were great. i thought he made a very compelling case for his own decency. whatever the screw ups were
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manageri managerially. >> in the first half of that interview, you saw a man who was incredibly frustrated by what he sees as the smallness of the debate in washington. or we boil it down to petty fights, frustrated incredibly with the republicans and the media. but in the second half of the interview, i saw the man i met in 2004, where he was an activist using politics to move forward, somebody who really is in league or in line with the way the pope feels about social justice. i think you saw him stripped away from the presidency to that guy. >> why did that happen? is it the bad poll numbers that faced him to be damn it, i'm going to be who i am. >> he is very self-reflective as he is prone to be.
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i don't know if this is a negative spin on this. maybe because he feels even more frustrated. he's ftrying to figure out what he can do. he was very splan tory. there's still a lot of fights to be had. but he talked about persistence and a connection queen the president and the public and that motivating persistence, but that's different than fighting. >> comparing politics to rolling a boulder up the hill is a little different from the way he began his life in politic, like with popping a champagne cork. this is tuff stuff. but he showed his own motivation. he said i remember every day. >> he's been there before. i didn't have to remind him of
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being a black guy in a car -- he doesn't have gps in the car. he's got the map, and i've got to discover illinois. after being beaten in the south chicago race. >> after losing the 2010 election, remember that. that was a tremendous blow and he reassessed the difference in values between him and republicans. the government is us. that's the grand slogan, us. we come together. >> did you see what he said about how they can believe in american exceptionalism. >> i think you see a president who's looking beyond what the presidency itself can do and really yearning for, hoping for people to recapture that sense of hope that they can galvanize.
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because he's completely stymied. >> we're seeing him at a low point here. the approval ratings are way down. he's downtown sitting there. he's got three and a half years as you say. what's the motivation, where are his goals? where is he heading with this in the tough sledding that he's got. and i think you got a rare glils and the viewers of "hardball" get a rare glimpse of how he's going to keep motivating himself. >> we'll be right back with more from american university in just a minute. you're watching the "hardball" college tour. the place for politics. [ applause ] honestly, i'm not looking for five-star treatment. i get times are tight. but it's hard to get any work done like this. then came this baby -- small but with windows and office.
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well, we've heard from the president of the united states tonight. and we'll be back with more after this. honestly? no way did i think a tablet was gonna be a good deal. you're talking to the guy who hasn't approved a new stapler purchase in three years. but then i saw the new windows tablet, with a real keyboard, usb port, and full office. it's a tablet that works for work. plus, it's got apps and games, for after hours, of course. compared to an ipad -- way more value. these tablets are such a steal; i couldn't find a reason not to buy them. ♪ honestly, i wanna see you be brave ♪ i couldn't find a reason not to buy them. so you can see like right here i can just... you know, check my policy here, add a car, ah speak to customer service, check on a know, all with the ah, tap of my geico app. oh, that's so cool. well, i would disagree with you but, ah, that would make me a liar. no dude, you're on the jumbotron!
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whoa. ah...yeah, pretty much walked into that one. geico anywhere anytime. just a tap away on the geico app. we're back at the american university here in washington, d.c. on the "hardball" college tour. >> i remember his deep reflection of social justice, reflective of what the pope has said. >> opposed to what rush limbaugh
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says. rush limbaugh called him a marxist the other day. >> i see a president who remains frustrated with the political media culture that he has to work in and he's looking to rally students here and people in the media. >> but he came to us today. >> i know. >> he came amongst us. >> he did it. and he did it in the end, here, today, chris not by defending specifics but by explaining why he's in it to begin with. i thought at the end it was extremely effective. >> when he said you could go make money or do something else and you won't have to be poked apart like i am. >> he didn't oversell the politics thing. >> that's one way to serve. >> lots of other good options out there. >> it sounds like he might have been talking to his daughters. anyway, thank you, joy reid and
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david corn. and i want to thank everyone for be being with us tonight, and thank you to president obama and also to the american university for hosting us. goodnight. it's now good evening rachel. >> good evening. thanks a lot. and thanks to you at home for joining us tonight. this is the pass you had to carry. it had your fingerprints on it you, your photo and who you worked for and where you lived and where you were allowed to go and when you were allowed to go there and for how long and for what purpose. starting in 1950, with the pop haiti lation registration act, everyone had to register by race, a racial review board, give you a look, decide what race they would say you are and give


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